Something new for iOS - Handwriting input with Mazec

There have been a lot of keyboards added to the App Store since Apple allowed third parties to offer unique capabilities, and the Mazec keyboard is the most unique yet. It allows you to enter text using handwriting input. It reminds me of the late, not lamented Newton MessagePad, only the Mazec keyboard actually works rather well.

The US$4.99 app works anywhere a regular iOS keyboard would work; email, messages, searching, notes etc. It provides one-handed operation, making it quick and easy. Conversion from scrawl to text is done in real time, and it also offers predictive text and the ability to add words or phrases to a dictionary.

The app worked better than my expectations. My handwriting is pretty awful, but with a bit of care, almost everything I wrote was recognized. Sometimes a word like "keyboard" would show as "key board", but you can delete or add spaces with a swipe .

You can edit on the fly with gestures, or quickly switch back to the default keyboard for editing. As with any input method, a bit of practice increases the accuracy, and I was busy writing on my iPhone in no time.

A tap on an icon provides options like all caps or thinner or thicker ink. As you enter text, the window scrolls left to give you additional space for words.

You can even save frequently typed text strings like URLs and email addresses. To install, you download the keyboard app, then enable it in your keyboard settings. I don't think I'd use the Mazec software for everything, but it is great for a quick email or text message, or even creating a to-do list.

Like all keyboard apps, this one requires iOS 8 or later. It's optimized for the iPhone 5, and it's universal so it should be fine on any iOS device meeting the requirements.

The Mazec handwriting keyboard works and will be a must-have for many who take the short time needed to master it.